Well. It was a nice four-match win streak while it lasted.
Unfortunately Thorns FC picked a bad time and a bad place to have a very unimpressive game. PTFC has never had much luck in Kansas City and this past Wednesday didn’t break with that form.
For the first 57 minutes of Sunday’s game, the Timbers showed they could hold their own against the best team in the league. Then, in the final 33 minutes, they showed they’ve got a LOOOOOONG way to go.
Thorns FC now sits alone in second place on the NWSL table, two points clear of now-third-place Chicago, five behind league-leading Carolina.
Because Saturday evening PTFC had a hell of an opening ten minutes, Chicago couldn’t find the back of the net with a rangefinder and GPS unit, and Emily Sonnett headed ten feet to her right, not eleven.
The week before Thorns FC whipped Houston all over Providence Park. This weekend? Well…it was a win on the road, okay? I’ll take it.
The Portland Thorns last met the Houston Dash about a month ago. On that hot night in Texas Portland were stymied for an hour and a half; what professional cyclists call un jour sans, a “day without” and only snatched the road point on a second-half-injury-time Lindsey Horan free kick goal.
Last Saturday was also uncomfortably hot but otherwise the match, the teams, and the result were utterly different.
Maybe it’s because we had an 11 a.m. kickoff and the morning coffee was still fresh in our veins, but Sunday’s game could not have had a crazier start. Two goals? Another couple that were called off? Two yellow cards for hand balls? Our first taste of VAR? And that was just in the first ten minutes!
Saturday’s draw at Houston was eerily reminiscent of our April 29th draw at Dallas. In both games, we have to like the road draw against a good opponent. But also in both games, when the team’s so close to getting the full three points, we can’t help but rue what might have been.
Last weekend Thorns FC came back from a mid-second-half concession to beat the visiting Washington Spirit 2-1.
I really wanted that win to whisper secrets about this Thorns team to me. I really wanted to use it as insight into whether this is the team that stonewalled Carolina or the team that collapsed in Seattle. I watched the match in Saturday’s heat and again on the screen in the evening dark looking for clues. Hints. Suggestions.
And after all that watching and guessing and thinking?
I still have no idea.
On Wednesday, the Timbers sent out a short-handed side to face a bottom-of-the-table team in front of a friendly home crowd, and got dusted, 4-1. Four days later, they sent out a short-handed side to face a playoff-caliber team on the road, and won, 2-1.
If any of you ever figure out how sports works, please let me know.